As most of us already know, keeping up with the demands of the market and the perceived state of the economy here in the United States (and elsewhere) can provide a variety of challenges for the small business owner. This doesn’t mean that today’s small business owner cannot thrive in today’s market, it simply means they need to find alternate ways to successfully market and promote their businesses that are both effective and economical.
Finding marketing solutions that are of high quality yet affordable is important, but can also be challenging. Fortunately for business owners today, there are some great cost-effective marketing solutions that will bring in customers without breaking the bank. One innovative solution is email marketing.
First, it is important to understand what email marketing is. At a basic level, email marketing involves sending email blasts or broadcasts to customers or potential customers letting them know about your company or about sales and promotions that will entice them to visit your website or storefront. Next, it is important to know why this process works.
Finding success with your business is all about turning a profit; and while there are many expensive marketing strategies that will work to get people to do what you want them to do – namely, buy your services or products, it is important that the cost of the marketing still allows you to make a profit and won’t end up costing more than it’s worth. With email marketing you can quickly reach thousands of customers without the added costs often associated with print advertising and without having to log in excessive man-hours; making it a smart solution for those looking to keep costs low.
Before starting with a new email marketing campaign, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind to make sure you get off on the right foot with your email marketing endeavors.
First and foremost, you always want to make sure you are using permission-based marketing and actually asking your customers or prospects to join your list. This is typically done by having an op-in box on your website where people willingly provide their email address in exchange for a free taste (often an eBook, white paper, tip sheet, etc.) of what you have to offer. Customers who receive blast emails they did not agree to, or ask for, are likely to have a sour taste in their mouth and usually delete your email before reading it, sometimes even reporting it as spam.
Another thing to keep in mind is that just sending out the email isn’t enough. You want the recipient to follow through by opening the email and reading your message. Make sure you begin with a personal introduction, and even put their name in the subject line or salutation. You can easily do this using the merge features available in 99.9% of the email delivery systems available these days (Practice Pay Solutions/1SC, iContact, Constant Contact, aWeber, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, etc.). You also want to make sure you keep the content short, sweet and to the point so it’s easy to skim, easy to read and so your customers can easily consume the information you are providing.
If you want to make the biggest impact with your email marketing and keep people coming back for more, always keep your reader in mind when developing your content so you are always sending something of value and benefit to them. If you aren’t already doing it, start sending out an ezine on a regular basis so your readers get use to hearing from you on a regular basis. Don’t just sell, communicate and provide value and benefit!